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Beautiful Byzantine church and art
Often overlooked because it’s so far off the beaten track, for Byzantine splendour the Church of Saint Saviour In Chora (also known as the Kariye Mosque or Museum) is second only to Haghia Sophia.
Built in the late 11th century, its celebrated mosaics and frescoes were added when the church was remodelled in the 14th century. Depicting all manner of Christian iconography, from the Day of Judgement through to the Resurrection, the works here are arguably the most important surviving examples of Byzantine art in the world, both in terms of their execution and preservation.
Ironically, this Christian art owes its excellent condition to the church’s conversion to Islam in the early 16th century, when the frescoes and mosaics were covered over. They remained concealed until their rediscovery in 1860. The Kariye Hotel at the end of the street is also worth visiting for its excellent Ottoman restaurant, Asitane.
Church of Saint Saviour In Chora
Avcıbey Mh.,Kariye Türbesi Sokak 16, Istanbul
Phone: 0212 631 9241
Open Hours: 9am-4.30pm Mon, Tue, Thur-Sun